“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” (Mark Twain, attributed)
WE ARE A PRODUCT OF THE RELATIONSHIPS WE HAVE AND THE BOOKS WE READ.
“When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. 20 This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.” Deuteronomy 17:18-20 (NLT)
“How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word.” Psalm 119:9 (MSG)
“By reading the Scriptures you learn how God wants you to behave, and you discover what is right.” Romans 2:18 (CEV)
“Till I come, devote yourself to [public and private] reading, to exhortation (preaching and personal appeals), and to teaching and instilling doctrine.” 1 Timothy 4:13 (AMP)
“The people there were more open-minded than the people in Thessalonica. They listened to the message with great eagerness, and every day they studied the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was really true.” Acts 17:11 (TEV)
As a leader it is imperative that you continually engage your mind. Commit now to being a lifelong learner. Few things are more inspiring than someone who never stops learning. Love of learning and a curiosity about life can keep our minds alert and sharp. To keep your mind sharp and to continually expand your thinking, identify the ways you learn best. Understand what environments cause you to grow, and create a rhythm that allows you to foster that growth.
Keep yourself connected to continuous learning by keeping your antenna up all the time. Develop a posture of learning, and remember that inspiration can come from anywhere anytime. Look for ideas in every image you see, every blog or article, every song. You can also automate inspirational learning. Follow people or brands that inspire you on social media, and subscribe to e-mail lists that send articles that help you stay sharp. As a leader, you must commit to constant learning and be a fanatic about it.
Read Ferociously! The best leaders are reading all the time. They recognize the value of expanding their knowledge through reading the wisdom of those who have gone before, and they prioritize time for this discipline. Since there are so many books to choose from, make it a habit to ask others what they are reading and keep a list of recommendations. When a book has been recommended by two or three different people, it’s probably one you should read. Get in the habit of using the spare moments of your day for reading. To maximize your reading opportunities, keep a book with you at all times. Download books on your phone so that you can read while waiting for an appointment or standing in line. You might also listen to audiobooks on your daily commute. Always be on the lookout for pockets of your routine where you can create disciplined time for reading.
Every leader needs to read! This is easier for some of us than others but we’re a product of the relationships we have and the books we read.
Learning Style Guidelines
1.Go to www.vark-learn.com. 2.Click on Questionnaire. 3.Answer the questions. 4.Read the summary that relates to you.
Leaders Book Summaries … http://www.studyleadership.com/ they summarize books for busy leaders. The group was started by Dave Frederick and he reviews a couple of books every month and then sends subscribers helpful 10-20 page summaries. He also provides 2-page super summaries. Dave’s team makes it easy for you to stay relevant and up-to-date in a timely manner. Leaders Book Summaries also helps you stop wasting time reading marginal books. Instead, they carefully sort through page after page of content to ensure that you receive the most beneficial information from each book. Dave issues 30 summaries of leadership books each year. The books are written by secular and religious authors. S = $6 a month; for the price of 3 hard-back books, you can receive 30 high quality book summaries.
See Also: A Lifetime “Must Read” Books List
What are you reading?
What are those in your family or workplace reading?
Are you giving books about leadership to your team, kids (allowance), spouse, friends?
Do you have a line-item budget for books?
These thoughts are a challenge for us no matter where we're at in our practice and disciple of reading. The is John Mark Comer sharing some thoughts about redeeming the time when it comes to the habit of reading ...
Apparently, I’m known as a “reader.” I read two or three books a week, which normally comes in at around one hundred and twenty-five books a year. And I feel pretty good about that. At least I did. Until I read Charles Chu’s calculations. The average American reads two hundred to four hundred words per minute. At that speed we could all read two hundred books a year, nearly twice my quota, in just 417 hours. Sounds like a lot, right? 417? That’s over an hour a day.
But can you guess how much time the average American spends on social media each year? The number is 705 hours.
TV… 2,737.5 hours.
Meaning, for just a fraction of the time we give to social media and television, we could all become avid readers to the nth degree. Chu lamented:
"Here’s the simple truth behind reading a lot of books. It’s not that hard. We have all the time we need. The scary part—the part we all ignore—is that we are too addicted, too weak, and too distracted to do what we all know is important."
If this is true of reading, how much more is it true of our lives with God?
What else could we give thousands of hours of our year to?
In twenty minutes of Candy Crush on our morning bus ride, we could pray for every single one of our friends and family members.
In an hour of TV before bed, we could read through the entire Bible. In six months.
In a day running errands and shopping for crap we really don’t need, we could practice Sabbath—an entire seventh of our lives devoted to rest, worship, and the celebration of our journey through God’s good world.
You see what I’m getting at?
Long before Thoreau went off into the woods, Paul said:
"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)
That next to last phrase can be translated from the Greek in a few ways:
Redeeming the time
Making the most of every opportunity
Make the most of every chance you get
Every day is a chance. Every hour an opportunity. Every moment a precious gift. How will you spend yours? Will you squander them on trivial things? Or invest them in the eternal kind of life?